Sling Media is now shipping several new models of their products that enable you to watch and control your TV or DVR anywhere you have web access and a PC or smartphone. We're particularly interested in the Slingbox Pro, pictured here, which looks to be much more sophisticated than the original product that we reviewed in December, 2005.
Unlike the original Slingbox, which takes over your entire tuner (pitting your viewing preferences against whomever might be at home trying to watch TV), the Slingbox Pro enables you to connect and control up to four A/V sources. So if you have a satellite settop box with dual tuners, you can control one remotely and leave the other alone. You can do the same if you have digital cable box equipped with a second, analog, tuner.
We think Sling Media's marketing effort is a bit misleading when it comes to the Slingbox Pro's support for high-definition TV. Their website states you can "...connect a component high-definition video (720p or 1080i)...and Sling your high-definition content using the HD Connect."
This requires a optional $50 dongle that has component-video inputs on one side and a DVI-like connector for the Slingbox on the other. But based on what Sling Media executives told us in a briefing last week, what you'll see at the other end of the connection will most definitely not be HD (although it will be better than composite or S-video).
We've requested an evaluation unit for review consideration, so we'll let you know what we think when we get our hands on one.